Chronic conditions and work

Chronic conditions refer to diseases and health conditions that last a long time and generally progress slowly. Although they can occur at any age, they become more common later in life. They are often invisible, sometimes episodic (i.e. they come and go) and often characterized by fluctuating symptoms that leave people disabled one day and functional the next. Examples of chronic diseases include arthritis, diabetes, chronic pain, depression and fibromyalgia. IWH research in this area focuses on the effects of chronic disease on work participation and productivity, as well as the effectiveness of job accommodations, benefits and other programs to ensure workers with chronic disease can stay at, or return to, work.

Featured

A seated woman with a clipboard in-hand speaks to a female client
Research Highlights

How do employment support programs impact the health of young adults with episodic disabilities?

Episodic disabilities can make it challenging for workers to find and sustain employment while managing their symptoms and work demands. An IWH study investigated the health impacts of employment support programs for young adults with episodic disabilities.
Published: April 8, 2024
IWH Speaker Series

Unveiling the JDAPT: A new interactive tool to identify work-related support strategies for workers with chronic conditions and disability

In this presentation, Dr. Monique Gignac describes the JDAPT tool, its development, as well as data from two studies on the tool. She discusses the JDAPT’s potential to help workers by focusing on work solutions, not medical diagnoses and symptoms.
Published: March 21, 2023
Journal article
Journal article

Understanding the employment landscape in people with systemic sclerosis

Published: Journal of Rheumatology, June 2024
The Globe and Mail logo
IWH in the media

Thriving while sick: mentorship platform helps chronically ill workers navigate workplace issues

In an article about an online platform that connects adults with chronic illnesses with mentors, freelance reporter Sanam Islam cites IWH research on workers' reluctance to disclose their chronic illnesses to access workplace support.
Published: The Globe and Mail, April 2024
A seated woman with a clipboard in-hand speaks to a female client
Research Highlights

How do employment support programs impact the health of young adults with episodic disabilities?

The unpredictable and often invisible nature of episodic disabilities can make it challenging for workers to find and sustain employment while managing their fluctuating symptoms and work demands. For young adults navigating early career phases, these challenges may also have life-long impacts on their career progression and health. Researchers on an IWH study set out to investigate whether employment support programs for young adults with episodic disabilities may also impact their health.
Published: April 2024
Journal article
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety logo
IWH in the media

Supporting workers with chronic conditions

Report profiling the Job Demands and Accommodation Planning Tool (JDAPT) and its capacity to help worker's find accommodations without disclosing a condition to their employer.
Published: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety, May 2023
OHS Canada logo
IWH in the media

Workplace health conversations are awkward: A new tool is here to help.

Todd Humber reports on discussions about chronic health accommodations at work, profiles the role of the Job Demands and Accommodation Planning Tool (JDAPT).
Published: OHS Canada, April 2023
Journal article
Journal article

Association of persistent pain with the incidence of chronic conditions following a disabling work-related injury

Published: Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health, April 2023
IWH Speaker Series
IWH Speaker Series

Unveiling the JDAPT: A new interactive tool to identify work-related support strategies for workers with chronic conditions and disability

Many workers with chronic physical and mental health conditions struggle when deciding whether to seek support from their workplace. The Job Demands and Accommodation Planning Tool (JDAPT) is designed to help address the complexity of disclosure decisions. Developed as part of a large research partnership, the JDAPT is an online, interactive tool that guides users through a series of simple questions about their job demands, job tasks and working conditions. In this presentation, Dr. Monique Gignac describes the JDAPT tool, its development, as well as data from two studies on the tool. She discusses the JDAPT’s potential to help workers by focusing on work solutions, not medical diagnoses and symptoms.
Published: March 2023
Canadian Occupational Safety logo
IWH in the media

Accommodation tools aims to bridge gaps between workers and employers

An article by Shane Mercer covering an interview with Monique Gignac about the newly released Job Demands and Accommodation Planning Tool (JDAPT) tool for workers, and the soon-to-be-released version of the tool for employers.
Published: Canadian Occupation Safety, March 2023